The West Bengal state Assembly passed the Goods and Services Tax Bill here on Monday, with the legislation replacing the ordinance promoted earlier by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She criticized the Centre for bringing in the indirect tax policy without “proper infrastructure” and lamented that her government was under pressure to implement the GST just to ensure smooth flow of funds by the center.
While participating in a discussion on GST the TMC supremo said, “If, we had not supported GST, then treasury would have been closed. We have taken this decision under pressure. Our movement against Centre’s anti-people policy will continue and we will keep on fighting for the Ma, Mati, Manush,” .
She added that the common man was facing lot of hardships due to this abrupt GST roll out, as the GST network was still in the formative stage and people need some time to get accustomed to this novel taxpaying procedure.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra who moved the bill said,” “I have walked out on the GST meeting as it wasn’t updated. About 4,000 crore transactions would be uploaded in the system and GSTN (GST Network) was supposed to take care of the process.
“When I asked the GSTN authorities about the testing of the system, they said about 200 companies from each state had been taken for the test. Moreover, 30 per cent of that (transactions) had failed as the beta test for system was not performed on large sample.” .
The West Bengal administration is unhappy with the center’s hasty decision to issue GST as without the ordinance all its treasury functions will be non-operational.
However Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee conveyed her thanks to Finance Minister Amit Mitra for lowering the taxes on most of the items discussed at the GST council meets.
Mitra said that “the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposed the GST earlier, as the Gujarat Chief Minster and we were the once who supported it then. So ultimately it’s everyone credit to make GST happen.”
Mamata Banerjee also thanked former Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta for being instrumental in preparing the initial draft of GST, as a Chairman of the empowered committee of Finance Ministers on GST.
Mamata Banerjee questioned the feasibility of GST saying that, “we had supported GST earlier as it appeared to follow a uniform mode of taxation across the nation. But the current format is totally different with the textile, medicine and small industries coming under the axe.”